Infovis 2019 Individual Coursework: Personal Data Project

1. Coursework Brief

This assignment, like the main group project, has several milestones that you will work on throughout the course. This assignment, however, is individual.

You will choose some personal data (about yourself) that you will collect a couple of times. You will design visualizations that represent this data (using non-traditional ways of creating visualizations) and that make it possible to answer some data questions. After three design iterations, you will summarize your design process and reflect on what you learned in a 3-minute long video.

This project gives you the opportunity to practice your design skills, personal data collection skills, presentation and communication skills, as well as reflection and evaluation skills.

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2. Personal Data Project breakdown into milestones


2.1. Milestones Timeline

This is the timeline of the personal data project. Milestones are described in detail in the following sections.

Assignment Date Due Date Milestone % (/100) Short Task Description

Mon Jan. 14

Sun Jan. 27

Personal Data Collection and Questions 1

10%

Collect one week of personal data of your choice and formulate three data questions (with emphasis on time).

Mon Jan. 28

Sun Feb. 10

Visualization Design 1

10%

Design a visualization with a temporal component to it, that partly addresses your data questions.

Mon Feb. 18

Sun Feb. 24

Personal Data Collection and Questions 2

10%

Collect one week of the same personal data you collected before and formulate three new data questions (with emphasis on comparison).

Mon Feb. 25

Sun Mar. 10

Visualization Design 2

10%

Design a visualization that emphasizes comparison(s) of your two weeks of collected data, and that partly addresses your new data questions.

Mon Mar. 18

Sun Mar. 31

Visualization Design 3

10%

Design a visualization that combines as much as possible your two previous designs, and that addresses as many of your six data questions as possible.

Thu Mar. 28

Sun Apr. 14

Video Report

50%

Submit a 3-minute video that describes your data and your different designs, as well as some personal data insights and reflection.


2.2. Personal Data Collection and Questions 1

2.2.1. Your task

You will choose personal data that you will collect for one week, after what you will describe the dataset and formulate three data questions about this dataset. It is completely up to you to decide which data to collect. This choice should be driven by your own interests, an aspect of your life you might want to visualize, understand better, or simply communicate to others.

The only mandatory aspect is that you data must have a temporal dimension. Events that happen during the day have at least a timestamp, and many of them can have a time interval (i.e. start time, end time).

To get you started, here is a non-exhaustive list of possible data you could track about yourself, but I encourage you to think beyond this list:

  • online communications:

    • the emails you send and receive

    • your whatsapp / text message communications

    • your tweets / tweets you read

    • news articles you read

  • in-person interactions

    • who you talk to

    • who and how do you greet people

  • Food and drinks:

    • the food you eat

    • what you drink

    • the calories / nutrition values of your food / drinks

  • behaviour:

    • when do you look at / use your phone

    • your youtube/netflix consumption

    • the music you listen to (spotify history, etc..)

    • your Google search history

    • the places you go to

    • the video games you play

  • feelings:

    • your mood at different times of the day **

  • Surroundings:

    • the cars / animals / birds / trees you see

    • the pictures you take

Of course all these datasets can have varied degrees of details, and it is up to you to decide what level of detail you will record. The more detailed, the more painful to collect, but the more detailed the more interesting visualizations you can create.

How you collect this data is up to you. Here are just a few suggestions of tools you can use for this purpose:

  • Last.fm lets you retrieve your music listening history data.

  • Toggl is a phone / laptop application to log activities with start and end times.

  • Excel is very good for this kind of small scale project.

  • Depending on what you collect, a notebook and a pen might be the most straightforward solution.

  • Voice recording with a phone app can make things easier to collect, but you would need to transcribe into e.g., Excel afterwards.

2.2.2. How?

You will submit a 1-page PDF file that using this template, that contains:

  1. A short (max 150 words) description of the data you collected that answers the following questions:

    • what is the data about?

    • why did you decide to collect this data?

    • how did you collect the data?

    • how many data cases and dimensions?

    • what are the data types of the dimensions?

  2. Three data questions you have formulated about the dataset you have collected, providing the following details for each data question:

    • why are you interested in this question?

    • why do you think visualization can be well suited to answering this question?

At least two of your three data questions must have a temporal component to them. For example, you can be interested in trends over time, in revealing cyclical patterns like time of the day when something happens, or in comparing mornings to afternoons to evenings, etc..

You will submit your document to the Personal Data Project Milestone 1: Data Collection and Questions 1 assignment on CourseSpace.

2.2.3. Feedback

The teaching team will mark your submission using the Rubric below:

Criteria Not Submitted Fair Good Very Good

Data description (50%)

/

You did not include all required elements, or your data does not have a temporal component.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

You included all required elements and the data is relatively personal, or your descriptions lack details.

You included all required elements, you included sufficient details, and the data is highly personal.

Data questions (50%)

/

You did not include 3 data questions.

Your 3 data questions are interesting, although they might be a bit generic and not strongly tied to your data. You might not make a good case regarding why visualization is a suitable approach, your interest in the data question might be limited, or you do not have 2 of the 3 data questions concerned with time.

Interesting data questions that are well tied to your personal data. Visualization is a suitable approach to providing answers to these questions and at least 2 questions are concerned with time. This looks like an exciting project overall!


2.3. Visualization Design 1

2.3.1. Your task

You will design a visualization that represents your collected, personal data, that will provide some answers to your questions. It is not required that your visualization answers all of your data questions.

There are some specific requirements. To create the visualization:

  1. You are not allowed to use a computer (although you can use your computer for the data collection and data formatting/processing).

  2. You are not allowed to submit a design hand-drawn on paper (although you should feel free to start by sketching some ideas on paper).

  3. You can use any other material and process you can think of, such as plasticine, paper folding, playdoh, clay, wood, sand, water, cardboard, lego blocks, matches, beer, food, tree leaves, grass, rocks, arduino - whatever you like.

  4. Your visualization MUST encode the temporal dimension a way or another. You are free to decide on the visual mapping you want to use for time, as long as some temporal data is encoded in your design.

2.3.2. How?

You will submit a 2-page PDF file that shows and explains your design using this template, that contains:

  1. A photograph of the visualization you created.

  2. A short (max 100 words) description of the material(s) you used to create the visualization, and the rationale for choosing these materials.

  3. A short (max 100 words) description of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, and why (design justification) as well as possible alternatives you thought about.

  4. A short (max 50 words per question you address) description of how the visualization helped you answer some of the data questions you had from the previous Personal Data Collection and Questions 1 assignment.

You will submit your document to the Personal Data Project Milestone 2: Visualization Design 1 assignment on CourseSpace.

2.3.3. Feedback

The teaching team will mark your submission using the Rubric below:

Criteria Not Submitted Fair Good Very Good

Visualization and materials used (40%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

Your visualization is either a generic/traditional one created with some original materials, or a customized/well-thought one created with traditional materials.

Your visualization design is original, and you used original materials to create it.

Visual marks and encodings (30%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

You provide some explanation of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, but do not justify your choices well.

Good description of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, and good justification of your design choices.

Answering data questions (30%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

It is not clear that the visualization helped you answer some of your data questions, i.e. these answers could come from a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Interesting interpretation of the data using your visualization, that provides some answer to some of your data questions. Good explanation of why your visualization does not help in answering a data question, if that is the case.


2.4. Personal Data Collection and Questions 2

2.4.1. Your task

Collect one week of the same personal data you collected before and formulate three new data questions (with emphasis on comparison). It is important that you collect exactly the same data as in your Personal Data Collection and Questions 1 assignment.

You will submit a 1-page PDF file that using this template, that contains:

  1. A short (max 100 words) reminder of what the data you collected is about, answering the following questions:

    • what is the data about?

    • why did you decide to collect this data?

  2. Three data questions you have formulated about the dataset you have collected, providing the following details for each data question:

    • why are you interested in this question?

    • why do you think visualization can be well suited to answering this question?

All data questions must be new ones. At least two of your three data questions must explicitly be about comparison. For example, you can be interested in understanding things have changed since last time overall, how trends have changed, etc..

You will submit your document to the Personal Data Project Milestone 3: Data Collection and Questions 2 assignment on CourseSpace.

2.4.2. Feedback

The teaching team will mark your submission using the Rubric below:

Criteria Not Submitted Fair Good Very Good

Data description (20%)

/

You did not remind what your data is about
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

n/a

You reminded what your data is about.

Data questions (80%)

/

You did not include 3 data questions.

Your 3 data questions are interesting, although they might be a bit generic and not strongly tied to your data. You might not make a good case regarding why visualization is a suitable approach, your interest in the data question might be limited, or you do not have 2 of the 3 data questions concerned with comparison.

Interesting data questions that are well tied to your personal data. Visualization is a suitable approach to providing answers to these questions and at least 2 questions are concerned with comparison. This looks like an exciting project overall!


2.5. Visualization Design 2

2.5.1. Your task

You will design a visualization that represents your 2 different weeks of collected, personal data, that will provide some answers to your second set of questions (with emphasis on comparison) from your Personal Data Collection and Questions 2 assignment. It is not required that your visualization answers all of your data questions.

The requirements to create the visualization are:

  1. You are not allowed to use a computer (although you can use your computer for the data collection and data formatting/processing).

  2. You are not allowed to submit a design hand-drawn on paper (although you should feel free to start by sketching some ideas on paper).

  3. You can use any other material and process you can think of, such as plasticine, paper folding, playdoh, clay, wood, sand, water, cardboard, lego blocks, matches, beer, food, tree leaves, grass, rocks, arduino - whatever you like.

  4. Your visualization MUST compare the two sets of collected data a way or another.

Note that you do not have to use the same materials as in your first design from the Visualization Design 1 assignment.

2.5.2. How?

You will submit a 2-page PDF file that shows and explains your design using this template, that contains:

  1. A photograph of the visualization you created.

  2. A short (max 100 words) description of the material(s) you used to create the visualization, and the rationale for choosing these materials as well as the rationale for changing material, if you did.

  3. A short (max 100 words) description of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, and why (design justification) as well as possible alternatives you thought about.

  4. A short (max 50 words per question you address) description of how the visualization helped you answer some of the data questions you had from the previous Personal Data Collection and Questions 2 assignment.

You will submit your document to the Personal Data Project Milestone 4: Visualization Design 2 assignment on CourseSpace.

2.5.3. Feedback

The teaching team will mark your submission using the Rubric below:

Criteria Not Submitted Fair Good Very Good

Visualization and materials used (30%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

Your visualization is either a generic/traditional one created with some original materials, or a customized/well-thought one created with traditional materials.

Your visualization design is original, and you used original materials to create it.

Visual marks and encodings (40%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

You provide some explanation of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, but do not justify your choices well.

Good description of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, and good justification of your design choices.

Answering data questions (30%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

It is not clear that the visualization helped you answer some of your data questions, i.e. these answers could come from a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Interesting interpretation of the data using your visualization, that provides some answer to some of your data questions. Good explanation of why your visualization does not help in answering a data question, if that is the case.


2.6. Visualization Design 3

2.6.1. Your task

You will design a visualization that represents your two weeks of data, that combines as much as possible your two previous designs, and that addresses as many of your six data questions as possible. It is not required that your visualization answers all of your data questions.

2.6.2. How?

You will submit a 2-page PDF file that shows and explains your design using this template, that contains:

  1. A photograph of the visualization you created.

  2. A short (max 100 words) description of the material(s) you used to create the visualization, and the rationale for choosing these materials as well as the rationale for changing material, if you did.

  3. A short (max 100 words) description of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, and why (design justification) as well as possible alternatives you thought about.

  4. For each of your 6 data questions from your Personal Data Collection and Questions 1 and Personal Data Collection and Questions 2 assignments, provide a short (max 50 words per question) description of how this design either:

    • does not answer the question as well as one of your previous designs, and why,

    • answers the question as well as one of your previous designs, and why,

    • answers the question while none of your previous designs did answer that question, and why.

You will submit your document to the Personal Data Project Milestone 5: Visualization Design 3 assignment on CourseSpace.

2.6.3. Feedback

The teaching team will mark your submission using the Rubric below:

Criteria Not Submitted Fair Good Very Good

Visualization and materials used (30%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

Your visualization is either a generic/traditional one created with some original materials, or a customized/well-thought one created with traditional materials.

Your visualization design is original, and you used original materials to create it.

Visual marks and encodings (30%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

You provide some explanation of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, but do not justify your choices well.

Good description of the visual marks and visual encodings you used, and good justification of your design choices.

Answering data questions (40%)

/

Incomplete submission.
OR, you did not respect the word limit.

Your visualization strongly focuses on either time or comparison, but fails at combining both aspects efficiently.

Your visualization is a good tradeoff between your two previous designs, as it makes it possible to answer both temporal and comparison questions. You also provide a convincing rationale for the design choices you made.


2.7. Video Report

2.7.1. Your task

You will create a 3-minute video that describes your data and your different designs, as well as some personal data insights and reflection.

2.7.2. How?

The format of the video is pretty flexible. It should summarize your design process and what you learned through conducting this personal project. I expect you to be talking for the 3 minutes, and to limit the amount of text. Use images and video snippets instead. The only constraint is that it must have two parts, and each part should be roughly half of the video:

  1. Part 1: Design Process. This part is basically a summary of all previous milestones for that personal data project:

    • The data you collected, why, and how.

    • The data questions you had.

    • Your 3 different designs, and how they help in answering some of your data questions.

  2. Part 2: Reflection. This part is a reflective part where you evaluate your process and your designs, and where you reflect on what you learned. This part is very flexible and could include aspects such as:

    • What worked well, what did not work that well?

    • Did you learn some aspects of visualization that you might not have learned if you had implemented the project in a more traditional form (i.e., coding)?

    • What do you think the physicality of the project adds to the visualization? What are the benefits of the materials you used? What are the limitations?

    • What were the main challenges of your project?

    • What would you have done if you had more time?

    • Did you learn something about yourself that you did not know before starting this project?

    • Does it gave you new ideas for personal visualization projects you would like to do in the future?

You will submit your 3-minute video to the Personal Data Project Milestone 6: Video Report assignment on CourseSpace. The format must be .avi, .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg or .wmv, and the resolution at least 1280 * 720 (full HD preferred).

2.7.3. Feedback

The teaching team will mark your submission using the Rubric below:

Criteria Not Submitted Limited Fair Good Very Good

Design process (25%)

/

You provide a dry presentation of your design process. Some parts might be missing, overall the process is very unclear.

You present your design process relatively well, but the overall project lacks consistency. You might not have strong links between your data, your data questions, and your designs.

You present a sound design process, resulting in a consistent project overall. The data questions you had are pertinent for the data you worked with, and the designs make it possible to answer your research questions relatively well.

You present a strong design process, resulting in a very consistent project. Your data questions are very personal and strongly tied to your data. Your designs are carefully thought to answer the research questions.

Creativity (25%)

/

Limited use of materials showing that you did not fully explore the possibilities for creating these visualizations.

Reasonable use of materials, but you did stick to the same material throughout the project and did not explore further possibilities.

Good use of materials, showing that you explored different possibilities. The designs vary quite a bit before converging to the final design.

Excellent use of a variety of materials. You strongly engaged with the design process and explored very different design alternatives. Your designs are very divergent, but you managed in your last design to combine the first two into a coherent and creative design.

Reflection (25%)

/

Your reflection lacks depth. You mention some things you learned and some things that did not work, but without explaining how this affected your design process. Your reflection is too impersonal/generic for a personal data project.

You provide some interesting elements of reflection, showing that you thought about it along the way. You detail some of the challenges you faced and a few things you learned. Still, you could have provided more depth regarding what you learned as a visualization practitioner, and as a person.

Good reflection on your project. You detail interesting challenges you faced and it is clear that you learned new things specifically thanks to this project, be it in terms of visualization design or in terms of yourself. This could be turned into a longer-term project with some research potential.

Excellent reflection on your project. You clearly articulate the challenges you faced and the decisions you made. You provide an insightful discussion on the effects of using beyond-coding materials. You provide some insightful findings about yourself based on your visualization. Overall this is a very exciting project that could quite easily be turned into a longer research project investigating some aspects of personal visualization.

Presentation (25%)

/

Your presentation is not engaging nor polished. You certainly did not spend enough time preparing it.
OR, your video is less than 2:30 long or over 3:00.

Your presentation is somewhat engaging but you could have done much better. You might not be using relevant images and/or videos that would make the communication better. Your voice-over might be very monotonous.

You show good communication skills. You spent a good amount of time preparing your video, resulting in an engaging presentation. There might be a few glitches, but this is good overall.

You demonstrate excellent communication skills. It is clear that you spent a significant amount of time preparing your video, which is of superior quality. You make excellent use of narration, videos and figures.